Column: Where ‘haywire’ comes from
The word “haywire” has of course come to represent a machine or situation that has ignored all of the three laws of conservation of energy and proceeded into chaos.
As laws go, there should be another one, which would state: “Any situation with more than one moving part has a tendency to go haywire.”
And it will indeed do so, likely as soon as someone pats themselves on the back and says something stupid, like, “There. Everything’s running smoothly.”
Are you a newspaper subscriber but you don't have a Digital Access account yet? https://secure.forumcomm.com/?publisher_ID=40&event=subscriber/lookup.
You will need your subscription account number and phone number. Not sure if you have an account? Email us at email@example.com and we can help you.